Most of the time I like my working environment to be as quiet as possible. I can handle a certain amount of office or coffee shop level distraction or general noise, but any kind of conversation or music kills my writing buzz instantaneously. I get sucked into the song lyrics or personal drama and can’t get back on track until it’s over.
But every habit has its exception and for me that’s my journaling time. When I’m writing about my day or reflecting on a private experience, music helps me set the right tone. I think that’s because each song is branded with its own emotions, that the lyrics and melody were crafted in a particular state of mind. So when I find one that matches my own, it actually helps rather than hinders me.
I don’t always journal to music, but when I do I usually write down a few lyrics or the name of the song that inspired my words that day. Here are a few songs from my journal soundtrack:
Time of Your Life – Green Day
Battle Scars – Paradise Fears
Iris – Goo Goo Dolls
You Found Me – The Fray
The Giving Tree – Plain White T’s
Story of My Life – One Direction
How Six Songs Collide – Norwegian Recycling
Who We Are – Paradise Fears
Until the End – Breaking Benjamin
Everything Will Be Alright – Joshua Radin
Your Guardian Angel – Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
Run – Matt Nathanson
Broken – Lifehouse
Always Be – Jimmy Eat World
I know, it’s a weird assortment of artists. But the emotions they sing about are strong and I love being able to find inspiration in that. It means a lot to me that a song can convey in just three minutes the same emotions that I sometimes require hours, days, or even weeks to articulate. Because it’s not just the lyrics; it’s the melody and the artist’s heart, too that make it special. Its how they sing it, how they mean it, and in a good recording you can feel where the song came from.
So what songs get your emotions going? Let me know in the comments down below. I’m always looking for new recommendations.